On Friday, a federal judge ruled that, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and younger, the government must make the morning-after pill available over the counter for all ages. The ruling said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must lift any restrictions on the pill, Plan B One-Step and any generic versions within 30 days.
Federal District Judge Edward R. Korman said that the government’s refusal to life restrictions for access to the pill were “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.” The judge accused the federal government of “bad faith” in responding to requests to make the pill available to all ages.
In 2011 Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius overruled a recommendation by the FDA that the pill be available to all ages without prescription.
Plan B if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex can lower the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent. It prevents ovulation or fertilization of an egg. It has no effect on women who are already pregnant and is not intended for everyday contraception.